Calcium, the king of crop nutrients, may have found a new queen: silicon
With roots for legs, plants are poor runners. Stuck with what is nearby, plants do the best plants can. NPK are heavy hitters in stimulating quick plant growth. The ability of the rest of the nutrients to keep up with quick growth stimulated by NPK is a key factor in determining crop quality and stress tolerance to climate, pests, and disease. Central among the other nutrients are calcium and silicon which are both key players in building the physical structure of a plant. Like a house, you build it quick and sacrifice quality and end up with a house you can live in, but it may not withstand the test of time. Ensuring adequate calcium and silicon availability helps ensure that the best materials are available during construction, even if it is a rushed job.